Klopp confused by ticket allocation for Champions League final

By Sports Desk May 06, 2022

Jurgen Klopp has questioned UEFA's allocation of tickets for the Champions League final, where Liverpool will face Real Madrid.

The game at the Stade de France on the outskirts of Paris will be played on May 28, and both participating clubs have been allocated fewer than 20,000 tickets each to sell to fans, despite the capacity of the stadium being 75,000.

Speaking at a media conference ahead of Liverpool's Premier League clash with Tottenham, Klopp was asked about the impact of the travelling Reds support this season, and he was keen to point out the ticket issue.

"When you see the ticket prices and all this kind of stuff, the amount of tickets you get only... did I read, is it right that we only get 20,000, they get 20,000, [but] 75,000 in? That makes 35,000, what? Where are these tickets?," he asked.

"I cannot be more appreciative, more thankful for what [the fans] are doing. Unbelievable... It is the only bad thing about the journey [fans struggling to obtain tickets]. I really hope they all can make it somehow and can create an incredible atmosphere.

"That is what I love about this game, really. The world will be red or white, but everybody will be either or, so that's really cool."

The game will be a repeat of the 2018 Champions League final, in which Madrid ran out 3-1 winners in Kyiv thanks to Gareth Bale's brace and a Karim Benzema goal.

Mohamed Salah was forced off injured following a crude Sergio Ramos challenge early in the contest, and the Egyptian has not held back in his assertions that the Reds want revenge this time around.

Salah posted: "We have a score to settle" on social media on Wednesday, before also saying when he received his Football Writers' Player of the Year award on Thursday: "We lost in the (2018) final, it was a sad day for all of us and I think it is revenge time."

Klopp was not quite as forthright, though he did pay tribute to Madrid's astonishing semi-final win against Manchester City, when Los Blancos came from 5-3 down on aggregate heading into the 90th minute of the second leg to win 6-5 after extra time at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"When we lost that final actually my favourite solution would have been to play the final the next year against Real Madrid, to be honest," Klopp admitted. "But we faced Tottenham [in 2019, winning 2-0], which was absolutely fine, in Madrid, so Madrid seems to be our destiny.

"It was strange and unlucky for City, but what Madrid did was outstanding. They got through against Paris Saint-Germain, against Chelsea, and against City, when we said before when we played Villarreal that if you knock out Bayern, you deserve to be in the semi-final, if you knock out these three [teams], you definitely deserve to be in the final.

"It will be great. That we were not happy that night, that's clear, but it was a while ago. I'm happy to go there and give it a try. Until then, we have a lot of games to play and you will ask a lot of questions about Real Madrid until then.

"What Carlo [Ancelotti] did there is absolutely incredible. If you go to a final the idea is you want to win it and that is what we'll work on the week before."

Related items

  • Koeman 'expected more from everyone' after France ruin Netherlands return Koeman 'expected more from everyone' after France ruin Netherlands return

    Ronald Koeman unsurprisingly said he expected more from his Netherlands team after they were beaten 4-0 by France in his first game back as head coach.

    Koeman replaced Louis van Gaal to begin his second stint as Oranje boss, and will have been as surprised as anyone to see his team go 2-0 down after just eight minutes in the Stade de France, and 3-0 down after 21 minutes.

    Speaking to NOS Sport after the chastening defeat in their Euro 2024 qualifying opener, Koeman admitted he had not expected such a gulf, though his team had finished with 59 per cent possession and just one fewer shot than the hosts (12-11).

    "I did not take into account that the difference would be so great," he said. "I expected more from everyone. The team performance was below average.

    "We lost the ball 20 metres from our own goal. That is a place where you should never lose the ball. And then France is, of course, a very good team that is lurking and immediately benefits."

    Antoine Griezmann, Dayot Upamecano and new France captain Kylian Mbappe gave Les Bleus an early cushion, before Mbappe struck again two minutes from time after intercepting a pass from Memphis Depay, who later had a penalty saved by Mike Maignan.

    "Memphis lost the ball, but Mbappe of course finishes it off great afterwards. So it was not just us. It was also the class of France," Koeman conceded.

    The Netherlands were without some key players including Matthijs de Ligt, Cody Gakpo and Sven Botman with viral infections, but Koeman was in no mood for excuses.

    "Of course the preparation has not been ideal. That has left its mark," he said. "But there have been just too many moments today when we failed.

    "We now know where we stand and have learned from this. It can therefore also turn out positively. We are going to learn and improve, including us as technical staff."

    Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk added: "We didn't get there, lost the duels and lost the ball too often. The second goal was a set piece, but the other goals came because we handed them the ball. France has so much quality, they immediately punish that.

    "We will analyse the defeat and take a good look at what we can do better, but it is clear we are very disappointed."

    The Netherlands host Gibraltar in their second Group B game on Monday.

  • France 4-0 Netherlands: Mbappe leads the way to ruin Koeman's comeback France 4-0 Netherlands: Mbappe leads the way to ruin Koeman's comeback

    France won their first game since their World Cup final defeat in style, beating the Netherlands 4-0 at the Stade de France to kick off their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with a bang.

    Antoine Griezmann put France ahead early after he was teed up by the man chosen over him for the captaincy, Kylian Mbappe, before Dayot Upamecano doubled their advantage inside eight minutes after Jasper Cillessen made a mess of a free-kick.

    Mbappe made it three before the halfway point of the first-half, before striking a fabulous second late on as Didier Deschamps' men strolled to an opening win in Group B.

    The Dutch had lost several players in the build-up to the game with a virus, but will have been made even sicker by the start to their qualifying campaign and Ronald Koeman's second spell as head coach, with Memphis Depay seeing a late penalty saved to add insult to injury.

    After all the noise about the France captaincy, it was somewhat appropriate that Mbappe fed the ball inside to Griezmann to side-foot low and hard to Cillessen's right to give the hosts a second-minute lead.

    It was 2-0 soon after as Cillessen failed to deal with Griezmann's free-kick from the right, with the ball ricocheting off Upamecano and rolling through the Dutch goalkeeper's legs into the net.

    Mbappe had his first goal as captain in the 21st minute when he played the ball to Aurelien Tchouameni on the halfway line, before racing towards to the left-side of the penalty area to get onto the Real Madrid midfielder's return pass – dummied by Randal Kolo Muani – before finishing calmly.

    Koeman took action by introducing Manchester United loanee Wout Weghorst for Kenneth Taylor after just 33 minutes, and the Netherlands were at least able to avoid further damage despite never really testing Mike Maignan in the French goal.

    That was until Depay's sloppy pass backwards found Mbappe, who teased Jurrien Timber and Daley Blind before firing across Cillessen to make it 4-0 in the 88th minute, while Depay saw his stoppage-time penalty saved by Maignan to wrap up a miserable game for the Dutch.

    What does it mean? France eager to get going on the road to Germany

    If Griezmann was disappointed by Deschamps' decision to give the armband to Mbappe, he hid it well as he scored after just a minute and 55 seconds.

    It was the fastest goal for Les Bleus since October 11, 2006 when Louis Saha scored after 37 seconds against the Faroe Islands.

    The Netherlands had 59 per cent possession, and 11 shots to France's 12, but their slow start gave them far too much to do.

    Captain Kylian more than capable

    France had not led by three goals this early in a game since December 17, 1953, against Luxembourg when it took just 10 minutes during an 8-0 drubbing.

    Mbappe thrived in his first game as captain as he led from the front, taking five shots, four more than any of his team-mates, and making 18 passes in the opposition half, with only Tchouameni recording as many.

    Koeman hopes the future's Oranje

    The returning Dutch boss Koeman gave youngsters Lutsharel Geertruida, Xavi Simons and Taylor their first senior international starts, but it never felt like a game for inexperience, with Taylor barely lasting half-an-hour, albeit rather harshly.

    It was the first time three players have made their full Netherlands debut in the same match since October 2015, and Koeman will be hoping that the experience for them, and the rest of the team, is at least a learning one.

    What's next?

    France head to the Republic of Ireland on Monday, while the Netherlands host Gibraltar the same day as Group B continues.

  • Deschamps denies captaincy grief as Griezmann links with Mbappe to down the Netherlands Deschamps denies captaincy grief as Griezmann links with Mbappe to down the Netherlands

    Didier Deschamps says Antoine Griezmann's disappointment at being overlooked as France captain for Kylian Mbappe "lasted two minutes".

    It actually took less than two minutes for Mbappe to provide an assist for Griezmann to set France on their way to a 4-0 win against the Netherlands on Friday to make a strong start to their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign at the Stade de France.

    Deschamps had announced Mbappe – who also scored twice after Dayot Upamecano had found the net – as his new captain ahead of Griezmann, but said at a post-match press conference that there are no issues between the two.

    "Fortunately, I don't know what is said and written. The two get along well, they work well and they have the same objective of seeing the French team perform well," he said. 

    "Antoine's disappointment lasted two minutes. There is not the slightest problem, like the whole group. Everyone gave off positive vibes."

    Mbappe completed the scoring in the 88th minute, though the Netherlands won a penalty in stoppage time, only for Mike Maignan to save from Memphis Depay.

    While Mbappe replaced Hugo Lloris as captain after his retirement, Maignan was playing his first game since being confirmed as Lloris' replacement as France's new first-choice goalkeeper, and Deschamps was in no doubt about the decision.

    "It's Mike. I didn't have to ask myself the question," he said. "He was injured but whether it was his qualities as a goalkeeper or his mentality... total confidence. It went very well for him. Mike has everything to take over [from Lloris]."

    France had a 3-0 lead after just 21 minutes, having not led so early in a game since December 1953 when they beat Luxembourg 8-0, and had a 2-0 lead by the 10th minute.

    "I don't know [if it was a perfect evening], but [it was] a very nice evening," Deschamps said. "The start was very good, efficient... We managed in the second half while continuing to be dangerous. That Mike stopped this penalty at the end ended the evening well."

    Deschamps also said there could be changes for Monday's second Group B game away at the Republic of Ireland, adding: "It will be another fight for us to fight."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.